I’ve decided on many things. For instance, I will personally take action in restoring our shiny garden set (or rather, let it be restored). We bought it last year sometime and it is absolutely divine, except for the fact that one cannot sit on the two chairs, nor can you actually use the wooden table which has lifted due to the rain. *sulk*
I will also make macaroons at some point soon, because everyone I’ve spoken to says it is a great evil in their baking adventures. Naturally, pig-headed as I am, this seems to be some galactic challenge. I’m not actually expecting success, but I love the science behind baking and maybe I can get somewhere in discovering the mystical alchemy within the fluffy (or is it crunchy?) clutches of those blasted cookies.It probably doesn’t help that I’ve never had a French macaroon in my life, so anything will taste fine to me, but I know Man-thing may just curl his lips in despair. C’est la vie!
I will, also, have fun during the week and take time to make new and different dishes for Man-thing and myself, wherever possible. Since I have some off-time again coming soon, I decided to set out a to-do list for what I plan to make and bake. Because I lack patience, however, a project that was supposed to be for next week was already completed last night. Ahem.
Cauliflower hummus burgers! I got the recipe from Kiersten over at Oh My Veggies, since I had searched far and wide for a lovely cauliflower-based burger that wasn’t dusted and dry-drowning in flour, which is my usual impression of veg burgers. Not this! I *love* that there’s tahini and lovely beans and that it is simply a magical and easy peasy combination. Honestly.
- I used cannelini beans, because that’s all I have in stock of that variety. They are just as tasty and delightful, so no harm done. They may be a bit squishier, which is why…
- I added 1 TBSP of oat bran to firm up the mixture.
- I also added lots of different spices – cayenne, white pepper, rosemary & paprika…lots.
- I also used a vegan egg to replace the one that crows, and all went well!
I’m very mesmerized by cauliflower lately, especially since I’ve discovered that I can roast it with no oil and just a few splashes of spices atop its crested form. I’ve been adding roasted cauliflower to my salads, and, really, there is no better crunch and smokey nom to be had.
Anyway, I decided last night to spoil Man-thing today with a burger, since he is a sucker for that sort of thing. I’m very proud that he’s happy to eat the burgers even though he knows there’s cauliflower in it – we’ve come leaps and bounds from him squealing “ewwww” all over the show when seeing them in the fridge. Granted, he still won’t eat it as I do, just roasted and in its primal shape, but he has eaten the cauliflower pizza with utter bliss kissed all along his silly tastebuds. *smug look*
To join the burger on his plate I decided on some polenta fries, since he adores polenta and I adore him (oh the sap!). Polenta is one of the best food memories out of Italy, simply because it could be done in so many ways – spicy and rich, soaking up a deep and thick sauce, or creamy and almost as a pudding in its own right. Only the big burger-y buns were missing from this hedonistic expression of food-love, but I was very happy with my side of salad and my bread slice of pumpkin seed rye (if I had more time I’d make my own!).
The majority of the baked polenta fry recipes I’ve come across refer to the polenta out of a tube, whereas I made the polenta from scratch and plonked it in the fridge, as suggested by A Vegan Food Snob. This whole stage happened at about 05h00 this morning and the prep only took about 10-15 minutes, tops! I left the mixture in the fridge until I got back home at 16h30, but the extra hours in the cooler box didn’t seem to do the fries any disservice taste-wise.
- Crank up the oven to 180C
- Cut the polenta into slices – first into your six portions and then into the six fries per portion, lengthwise.
- Once the oven is heated, bake the fries for 15 minutes a side, flipping halfway.
- Bake for another 5 minutes.
- Polenta needs a lot of flavouring IMO for the spices and what to really sink in – I used many, many spices and I could have used even more, including a drop or two of balsamic vinegar or soy sauce. Man-thing claims they’re perfect as is but I’ve been getting more and more in love with spice and a little bit of heat on my tongue. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still order mild at my local restaurants, but within reason one wants to get a pow in the kisser via seasoning. I therefore added my fair share of paprika, cayenne, onion powder, rosemary..the works.
I have to be honest. At some point the baking tray wobbled and I dropped two fries on the floor. Man-thing was so delighted by the fries that he ate them, despite my protests. He also ate 5.5 servings. o.0 That’s basically the entire recipe! All in his stomach! I wasn’t actually thinking when I told him to go ahead and finish up mine (was too stuffed!) but yikes! He insists that it can be made again and that he really enjoyed them. I did too- crunchy and crispy on the outside, a hint of the smooth creaminess on the inside, and when dipped – WOW! Divine!!
So there you have it. Healthy burger and fries for a week-day treat. Now Man-thing, spurred on by these successes, is downstairs in the kitchen with his new mini ipod making peanut butter ice-cream 😀 As good an end to a weekday as any! ❤